An anonymous Arkansas donor paid the overdue water bills for an entire town, sparing customers facing disconnection from being behind on their payments on Monday.
The Harrison Daily Times reported that the Harrison, Arkansas, city council met last week to discuss what to do with people who were falling behind on their water payments.
Luke Feighert, the city’s chief financial officer, told council members that the city suspended water service for non-paying customers due to the coronavirus’s financial difficulties.
Customers had been warned in June and again this month that they would be disconnected from their services starting this week.
Feighert estimated there were about 500 people who could face having their water cut off, and that these people collectively owed between $10,000 and $20,000.
But Harrison Mayor Jerry Jackson said a city resident who wished to remain anonymous contacted him wishing to pay those overdue bills for the city’s customers.
The anonymous resident donated $15,000 to cover the cost of those past-due bills. The mayor said he believes the amount would be enough to cover the outstanding amount.
Jackson said Water Department employees would start to reach out to people who would have had their water shut off to let them know that their bills had been paid.
He added that even though the donor wished to remain anonymous, anyone interested in showing appreciation would be welcome to drop off thank you cards at City Hall, where officials will make sure the cards get to the donor.
This is not the first time an anonymous donor has paid off the water bills for an entire town. In Fortville, Indiana, one anonymous donor dropped more than $210,000 on water and sewer bills for the month of April, the Associated Press reported.
There is even a project called the Detroit Water Project where anyone can pay a Detroit resident’s outstanding water bill online, at a much lower cost.